Identity Finder

Identity Finder is a software application dedicated to the prevention of data leakage. Identity Finder automatically locates social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank accounts, passwords, driver's licenses, dates of birth, and other private data that can be used to commit identity fraud. The product searches within files, emails, browsers and other system areas where people might not even realize their computer stored their details. Beyond identification, the technology helps securely shred or encrypt information.

Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

What is Identity Finder?

Identity Finder is software dedicated to the prevention of data leakage. Identity Finder locates social security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, passwords, driver's licenses, dates of birth, and other private data that can be used to commit identity fraud. The product searches within files, emails, browsers and other system areas where people might not even realize their computer stored their details. Beyond identification, the technology helps securely shred or protect information.

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What is considered sensitive data?

Sensitive data, or Personally Identifiable Information (PII), includes student records, social security numbers, or any other information that can be used to identify, contact, or locate a single person.

How do I download Identity Finder?

Visit www.montana.edu/itcenter/identityfinder/downloads/.

My department deals with sensitive data— what are my options for securing and storing them?

Sensitive date or Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is stored on Knox, which is MSU’s secure server. For further information regarding Knox, please visit www.montana.edu/knox.

Can I save files containing student, faculty or staff GIDs??

It depends. Files that contain a combination of full GIDs with no name, or a full name and the last 4 digits of the GID may be stored in a file. A student’s full name in conjunction with a full GID is considered sensitive and should be protected. No part of a Social Security number should ever be used.

Am I in trouble if sensitive data is found on my computer?

The purpose of sensitive data screening is not to get users into trouble for having sensitive information on their workstations. Most users are going to find some amount of PII and many times will not have realized it was present. The goal is to empower MSU users to discover what sensitive data are and to provide the tools to manage it effectively.

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What can I expect when my computer is scanned for sensitive data?

When a scan is initiated, the only effect a user will notice is a notification that appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen for a few moments. Users will have the option to set a password after the initial scan is complete. This is required to access scan results.

Who are my Identity Finder results shared with?

Results will be shared with the user’s department Identity Finder administrator. Each department will designate their own Identity Finder administrator as the person responsible for managing the findings.

Can I keep my own social security number on my computer?

Although rules do not preclude an individual from storing their own sensitive data, the IT Center encourages that information not be kept on MSU computers.

Will I lose sensitive data if I don't transfer it to Knox?

No. Sensitive data outside of the Knox server will not be deleted without the owner's input, but it is expected that it will be moved to an appropriately secure location. While Knox may not be a compatible option for everyone, such as some Mac users; if a user encounters trouble with using the Knox server, contact the ITC Service Desk for alternate ways to appropriately protect your information.

I have sensitve data on paper - what should I do with it?

Documents containing sensitive data should be kept in a locked drawer or cabinet to prevent access by unauthorized individuals.

Should I be concerned about copiers that save document images?

Yes. If a copier that saves document images is being used, or if it is undetermined if the copier is saving data, contact the ITC Service Desk to make sure that the appropriate controls are in place.

What do I need to do once Identity Finder is installed?

Identity Finder is automated once installed and will automatically scan the computer on a monthly basis. For more details about an individual department’s schedule please email identityfinder@montana.edu

Is installing Identity Finder required?

Yes, the expectation is that Identity Finder will be installed on all MSU computers. If your department isn't listed on the download page or on the deployment calendar please contact your local IT staff to see when your area is scheduled for deployment.

How does installing Identity Finder help me?

Most people don't even know that sensitive data is on their computer. It could be in a file accidentally saved, a file that was saved years ago (or by the previous user of the computer) or information that was automatically saved by a program or process. Identity Finder gives employees the ability to finally see the potentially sensitive data that is on their computer and the tools to either delete or appropriately protect it so that it no longer exposed to the unnecessary risk of being stored on a desktop or laptop computer.

How is Identity Finder being deployed?

While Identity Finder will ultimately be installed everywhere on campus, the rollout will be gradual with business areas and departments being added individually. When your department is scheduled to begin using Identity Finder you will receive detailed instructions from your local IT or management staff. If you would like to schedule your area for deployment please email identityfinder@montana.edu.

How do I use Identity Finder?

You can find instructions for using Identity Finder in our User Guide.

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